Michael Nasberg's Invention  


Florence Mining News 
August 26, 1980
Centennial Edition -- Page 8
Contributed by Beth Sternhagen & family
Thanks, Beth, for sending this in!




Michael Nasberg immigrated to Florence, Wisconsin Sept. 6, 1880 from Wasa, Finland.

Young Michael, as a lad of 22, found work on the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad in Florence. His job was to clean windows and scrub the floors of the pullman cars. Later he became a car repairer.

Since work at times became tedious he began to think of ways to improve it. Why not invent a device to clean the windows and also scrub floors faster.

In the mean time on May 10, 1889 he married Matilda Nylund, who had also im-migrated to Florence, Wis. On Aug. 14, 1890 their son, John, was born.  They made their home across the street from the Swedish Mission Church.

Here Michael could walk to the railroad yards and plan his invention. In a few years Matilda passed away and little John, at two years of age, was left without his mother.

On January 20, 1893 Michael married Bertha Nylund, a sister to Matilda and John's mother. With home life going a little more comfortable Michael Nasberg could now work harder on his invention.

In 1897 the family of 3 sailed back to Finland to bring back Anna, a baby of two years of age, whose mother, another aunt, had passed away. They all returned to Florence again and more time to work on the invention for Michael. Another son, Ted, was born June 13, 1899.

He took out a patent at the United States Patent office at Washington, D.C. July 4, 1899 for Window Cleaners, a clever and ingenious device.

By August of 1899 Michael rode down by C&NW Railroad to Chicago and contacted the well-known firm of R. J. Jacker & Co. about his invention.

Back again in Florence, improvements on the patent were made and by the new name of Cleaning Devices another patent was recorded at the U. S. Patent Office Dec. 26, 1899.

Much more work and perservance by Michael and his attorneys were made to get it developed to be manufactured. Family records also show Michael Nasberg applied for a patent for Cleaning Devices in Toronto, Ont. Canada on May 27, 1903, which was unsuccessful. 

As to the growing family a daughter, Irene, was born in Florence on Feb. 8, 1902.

By 1903 the family moved to Antoine Location, in Iron Mountain, Michigan where Michael Nasberg found more work as a car repairer in the C&NW railroad yards. 

When Henry Ford came to Iron Mountain in the early 1920's he also was contacted about this invention.

The family which had grown to four more children, Ruth, Elsie, Ellen and Roy, who were born in Iron Mountain, didn't get to see their fathers dream Window Cleaners developed because of the lack of capital backing.

Michael Nasberg passed away June 18, 1924 after 42 years of railroading.

Originally submitted to the Florence Mining News by Elsie Nasberg.